BOSTON — Let’s be real, the New England Patriots steal the show wherever they go nowadays.
Such was the case Tuesday night, when a pretty substantial amount of Super Bowl LIII champions attended the Boston Bruins’ tilt with the New York Islanders at TD Garden.
The Patriots, who had their victory parade through the city earlier in the day, were greeted with a massive ovation, and Super Bowl MVP Julian Edelman provided an emphatic ceremonial puck drop, spiking it like a football between Patrice Bergeron and Anders Lee.
Some of the players were in the B’s dressing room before the game, so the players and brass had a chance to chitchat for a little bit. After the game, the Bruins had nothing but good things to say about the experience.
“Well, a few of them were in our room before,” head coach Bruce Cassidy said, “and I met Mr. Kraft and his son, so it’s a great honor for us to be around those guys, their culture of winning. They look like they’re having some fun doing it, which is important as well, so hopefully it rubs off on us a little bit.
“I think they’re the franchise probably every pro sport right now that people would want to emulate in terms of winning and success,” Cassidy added. “They’ve done it year after year. We’re no different. We’d like to follow in their footsteps and get some championships for ourselves. But, I guess the energy of the building, having them around for me, I thought it was great. It was an honor to have those guys around and again, they looked like they were happy to be here, having a good time, as well they should.”
Patrice Bergeron was celebrating his 1,000th career NHL game Thursday. Bergeron long has been the type of guy that doesn’t enjoy the spotlight being directly on him, so he was more than pleased with the fact that the Patriots took some of the attention.
“Yeah, thank God. That was perfect. I was very happy with that,” Bergeron semi-joked.
“It was awesome,” he later added. “There was so many of them too. It was actually great to see, and you know, they came in the locker room before the game and we told them obviously we were cheering for them and it was an amazing ride again this year, and you know, I thought that the crowd was really into it and that set the tone for a great night.”
And Bergeron, who was at the center of Edelman’s puck spike, admitted he was surprised by it.
“He surprised me, but I loved it. It was awesome.”
Tuukka Rask, never one to miss an opportunity to crack a joke, pointed out how the parade probably impacted the crowd at the Bruins game.
“Well I think the energy was great,” the netminder said. ” I’m sure that the crowd was well lubed up from the parade this afternoon so that might have helped. You know that was a great atmosphere, it was awesome. Those guys stopped by the locker room before and gave us some energy too so it was good to see that. Here in Boston we try to stick together and support each other so I’m really happy for the Pats.”
Given the success of each franchise, now more than ever teams around Boston seem to be sticking together. All four major teams often are intermingling and visiting one another, and that was a point of emphasis for top-line winger Brad Marchand.
“I mean you saw the atmosphere it was pretty intense out there and everyone is excited to have them in the building. Obviously, a big day with the parade, everyone is still fired up around the city. It was a lot of fun to have them we got to see them before the game too as well, they came in. It’s always great to see a team from the city win and we all kind of enjoyed it together.”